Skip to main content
6:00 pm
captioned by the national captioning institute >> your watching "the journal." >> our top stories -- another day of violence as protest start across the middle east. a setback in japan as officials expect a breach at reactor three. the eu decides on a voluntary safety tactics on all nuclear reactors. >> in syria the government continues with a violent
6:01 pm
crackdown on opposition protests. people took to the streets of several cities where there are reports at least three were killed by pro-government demonstrators. in the main center of the protests, thousands attended funeral marches for those killed earlier in the week. >> thousands of demonstrators took to the streets after friday prayers. a scene repeated in several syrian cities. this video shows a rally in the capital of damascus, evidence that unrest is spreading. the syrian president pledged political reforms on friday but the protesters dismissed the measures as inadequate. hours later reports said police fired on protesters in the village killing at least 17 people. the aftermath is shown in this video released -- released through facebook.
6:02 pm
amateur videos posted online provide the only documentation of such events. despite escalating tensions, the reforms have been welcomed by some in damascus. >> it is a little bit late but i think it is a step towards the right direction. [unintelligible] of course, this is a step forward. >> there were demonstrations in a show of support for the president. this was the official video being broadcast on television. >> we are joined now by our middle east analyst in the studio. do these protests have any chance of gaining the momentum they need to topple the government? it seems as if damascus shoots anyone who goes into the streets. >> the present regime is using
6:03 pm
ancient tactics at shooting at anyone demonstrating. this is a very dangerous strategy. it seems this uprising has already reached a tipping point. there is no way back to reforms. the president is respected by many syrians, by his regime is too brutal. he has lost the opportunity to find a compromise with his own people. >> he said reforms are coming. is that an empty promise? >> it looks like it. he has been in office for 10 years and has not used this time to change society. he has opened up the internet to the syrian people. he has really created a new generation of facebook that is trying to achieve changes from damascus. there are so many factors
6:04 pm
involved. all these factors intervene. this is a very dangerous development we see unfolding in syria. >> we will be back for more in a moment. anti-government protesters are keeping up the pressure on the yemeni president. tension was high as thousands rallied this friday in the capital demanding an end to his rl.e the president staged a demonstration of his own supporters. he said he was ready to hand over power to save hands. he denied government troops played a role in the shooting of opposition demonstrators last week. the situation there seems to be the most critical at the moment. >> you are right. he has promised the president and yemen to hand over power by the end of this -- he has promised free elections but we
6:05 pm
don't know whether he is playing for time or whether he is willing to change the political system. my impression is he tries to stick to power. even if someone else comes into office we have to look at yemen as a difficult country. even the president we have now only has control of the capital and surrounding areas. the rest of the country is falling apart. it is a very difficult country to rule. there are two civil wars being waged, so whoever it is ruling is not the envy. >> there have been rumors flying around protesters in libya, syria and yemen are actually al qaeda operatives in disguise. is that fear mongering or a serious problem? >> this is fear mongering. al qaeda does not play any role within this uprising.
6:06 pm
it is really an uprising of the people who are tired of the regimes that have brutally governed these people over so many decades. you see a phase of reshaping the political landscape. unfortunately, it looks like it is turning violent in libya and syria. >> thank you very much. the prime minister of jordan has blamed islamists that left one person dead. he would -- the clashes erupted friday after hundreds of government supporters attacked demonstrators in the city center. police stepped in after the groups started throwing stones. security forces used water cannons to disperse the crowds. >> coalition attacks on the libyan leader gaddafi's forces have reduced his ability to
6:07 pm
exercise command over the ground forces. in a briefing at the pentagon, they also said u.s. forces were preparing to hand off control of the no-fly zone to the nato command, but will will -- will remain responsible for air strikes to protect civilians. >> western warplanes launched a seventh day of air strikes against muammar gaddafi's air forces. encouraged by the raid, the opposition hopes to retake the city soon. >> maybe today or tomorrow. [unintelligible] >> in the rebel stronghold, the imam thanks coalition forces for intervening. these photos show victims of the fighting from the rebels' side. >> [inaudible]
6:08 pm
>> it is unclear how many libyans have died in the conflict. >> japan's nuclear safety agency says it is likely the radioactive material is leaking from part of the number 3 reactor. officials don't think the reactor has cracked but the radioactive material is leaking from somewhere inside. earlier today the japanese prime minister warned the situation is nowhere near being resolved. >> the latest footage of the plant released by the japanese military. radiation and water at unit 3 was bound to be 10,000 times above normal levels. a breach of the core might be to blame. work was suspended after three
6:09 pm
workers were exposed to the radioactive water. >> there is a high possibility the third reactor's fuel rods are damaged. that is where we think the radioactive water came from. >> work to cool units one and two was also suspended, while high levels of radiation were also measured around the plant. japan's prime minister apologized to businesses affected by the crisis, saying the situation remained serious. >> we can not become complacent. we are trying to prevent things from getting worse but we cannot become complacent. we must be on our guard. >> 1 forecast said the wind should carry radioactive particles out to sea. it is set to stay cold. that is bad news for the hundreds of thousands of people still living in an emergency shelters. many are running short on
6:10 pm
heating and medicine. >> the nuclear disaster has been making waves in europe. the european union has ordered new safety tests on all of the continent's nuclear power plant. eu leaders were quick to say they are taking steps to make sure the emergency does not happen here. >> japan's nuclear crisis could have consequences for france's atomic industry. their oldest plant is located in an earthquake zone near the swiss border. now it will undergo a safety on along with the -- undergo a safety audit. >> that is a top priority. we decided the safety of nuclear plants should be issued with a stress test. >> until now it was unthinkable we could carry out stress tests.
6:11 pm
that members will be obliged to carry out stress tests at all their nuclear reactors, and the results will be published enabling the commission to draw up a report that can discuss the measures that need to be put in place. >> although energy policy decided on a national level, all the union's leaders have agreed to carry out the checks. france argued its current safety measures are sufficient, but it is also on board. >> the results of a test carried out by france will be publicized. if they are not convincing, we will take immediate action. >> the stress test should be carried out in the second half of this year after national regulators decide on a common set up assessment standards. >> we also have some movement on the european stability
6:12 pm
mechanism. >> another breakthrough in brussels. under the deal, the mechanism will beef up the existing rescue package starting in 2013. the deal also includes stricter rules to insure the stability euro and a path and at strengthening fiscal policies in eu countries. >> it is the most far-reaching overhaul of the monetary union since it was established. eu leaders back the release of billions and tougher punishment for countries that breached rules. euro zone states are trying to avoid future debt crises within the euro zone. >> time will tell whether we are equipped, but we have the instruments to cope. we need the political will to
6:13 pm
use this at our disposal. >> there is a new bailout facilities worth 700 billion euros. $500 billion of that could remain -- 80 billion will be cash and the rest in guarantees. germany's contribution amounts to 22 billion euros in cash. it accounts for more than a quarter of the bailout fund. the summit was overshadowed by the resignation of the portuguese government before things got under way in brussels. >> global stocks moved up with european shares recording their biggest weekly gain in six months. investors seem confident the nuclear crisis in japan would not derail global growth. let's look at some market numbers.
6:14 pm
beginning in frankfort, the dax closed up 12 points. across the atlantic, the dow jones still gaining. the euro lost steam, trading at $1.40. germany's benchmark confidence index dipped slightly in march for the first time last year. they posted 20 year highs for three consecutive months. most expected to get a steeper drop due to the conflict in libya. >> a lack of japanese electronics corporations has forced some automakers to cut back production, but the majority of companies are in
6:15 pm
fine shape. >> the main part of the manufacturing industry is still producing at full capacity. if things don't get significantly worse, the production increase will continue. >> that is what is [unintelligible] the index has been rising steadily since 2009. last month it reached its highest level in 42 years before dipping slightly. the polls -- they pulled 7000 businesses every month for their economic situation. >> germany's third largest bank posted a loss last year but it is an improvement from the year before. [unintelligible]
6:16 pm
during the financial crisis they were borrowing billions from the state which must be paid back. >> it is official, they are bank as brigitte back as the coach. he will finish the season off and will be back as the boss with a two-year contract. he replaces the outgoing coach who is leaving the club after a below par performance. scientists in chile have unearthed the skull of a prehistoric elephant. construction workers discovered the mastodon tooth at a building site outside the chilean capital last month. specialist dug deeper and there lay a perfectly preserved skull. they burst roamed the area 2 million years ago.
6:17 pm
they died out 10,000 years ago. one scientist will soon be able to say how old it is. you are watching "the journal." we will be right back.
6:18 pm
>> the new formula one season is off to a dramatic start even before the first race. political turmoil has created a huge roadblock. the 2011 campaign finally gets under way with the australian grand prix. the opener was supposed to take place i nbahrain, but uprising -- supposed to take place in bahrain, uprising's put a stop to that. >> the site of the first grand prix held in the middle east in 2004. right now formula one is staying away.
6:19 pm
they have seen the dark side of the rapid expansion. >> the growth of formula one has profited from the desire of authoritarian regimes to use the sport as a showcase. they were ready to invest a great deal of money in staging formal one events. >> hosts pitt massive fees to hold races. the newest countries pay of to 35 million euos for the privilege. that is twice what they get from the european heartland. other sports have been tempted by the huge profits to be made. world bodies like fifa foster questionable partnerships. >> just as in many political organizations, sports organizations sometimes have very undemocratic structures.
6:20 pm
it is another instance of sports mirroring politics. >> fifa recently went through the biggest corruption scandal in history. the decision came in for a huge amount of criticism around the world. fifa was accused of putting profit above all else. >> the problem world sports governing bodies is their committees often include people who don't come from the world of sport but decide its future. >> can fair play make a comeback? better control systems are a central -- they are essential. formula one hopes to be back soon, canceling all together would cost too much.
6:21 pm
>> circuit troubles aside, this season is shaping up to be one of the most interesting in years with the spotlight on a barrage of famous names. for the second time in history, the 2011 entry list features five world champions. one of them is from germany. he is the youngest champion ever and is an excellent position to retain his title. >> the champion says his preparation for this season has been more intensive than ever before. he is determined to keep the trophy that so many want to snatch from him. >> it will be a long and hard year. we all have the same chance. they have a famous rival.
6:22 pm
the comeback season last year was a disappointment but his new car has clocked up many times this year. >> full throttle is the only language i understand. the point is i am much better prepared going into this season. we are expecting to win a few races this year. >> this man is back. 17 years since he drove through the gate as germany's first formula one world champion. at that time he was just six- years old. now the former champion is challenging the reigning champion. >> i don't think he has lost his touch at all. he has not lost any of his
6:23 pm
>> this is his friend and mentor but the rivals only appear on the same team together at the race of champions. >> if he makes a mistake, the young one has to correct it. he hopes the new mercedes will be as fast as the red bull. >> we are hoping for some great formula one jewels on the racetrack. hard but fair on the racetrack. we can spend time together afterwards. >> the new season will show whether that friendship is strong enough to provide bridging survived the battle rivalry of formula one. critics strong enough to provide the biddle rivalry. >> the drivers will have to go
6:24 pm
58 laps at top speed. that requires brains and brawn. formula one racers need to be in top physical and mental condition. our reporter decided to find out what is required to master the track like a champion. it is not as easy as it looks. >> soaring heat and complicated controls. driving a formula one car is hard work for body and mind. i decided to find out whether i would be fit enough for the job. this meant is a physiotherapist. he explains the most important russells are those in the neck and forearms. -- the most important muscles. he noticed i sometimes do rock climbing. >> a driver's body has to put up with a lot of stress.
6:25 pm
running, swimming are important. coordination is vital, too. >> balancing on a rubber cushion is one of the most important exercises for a driver. juggling is another way to improve coordination. then there is balancing on a wave board. >> not bad for a beginner. lots of people don't manage to stay on. even athletes have trouble. >> them i am at a company in berlin that trains all kinds of racing drivers. the advice is the same for everybody. >> don't think about it. just listen to the instructions. >> in a crash course, i learned the 20 main functions of a formal one steering wheel. then the race can begin.
6:26 pm
this is a track in mel bourne. it does not seem to suit my driving style. i crash and turn the car over. but i soon get the hang of it. driving more safely but not very fast. by the end, you probably would have been laughed about seven times but you have potential. -- he would have been lapped about three times. >> that is a bit optimistic but there are already enough top drivers in formula one. i think i will go back to reporting about the races rather than driving in them. >> that has been our in death as this hour as the new formula one
6:27 pm
season kicks off. please stay with dw-tv.
6:28 pm
6:29 pm
6:30 pm
>> a veteran correspondent reporting the stories that shape our lives. a nuyorican from brooklyn at the top of the news business. award-winning journalist and author ray suarez. i'm maria hinojosa. this is one on one. >> so, ray, you're the senior correspondent at the news hour. everybody also knows you from talk of the nation on npr. but i want to ask you this-- when i was growing up in chicago, i remember seeing john quiñones on television. i remember seeing geraldo on television, doing reporting. and i thought maybe i could. but who did you see?
6:31 pm
when was the spark? >> well, growing up at the... around the same time in new york, when i turned on channel 2, i could see j.j. gonzales, aida alvarez who worked for channel 4 in new york. she's from my father's... >> she was on television there? >> yeah, from my father's hometown. so there were a few. i mean, this is a metropolitan area with two million latinos. and there were very few models of that kind. david diaz... >> so these guys were around when you were growing up in new york city? >> late '60s, early '70s, yeah. >> and did you actually say, "okay, there's someone out there who's latino who's on television, and so therefore, maybe i could"? >> no. i... you know, i wish i was more of an optimist about these things, frankly. i didn't know whether-- how
6:32 pm
young to be so cynical-- but i didn't know whether they were going to be the only ones. so these were tiny ecological niches that already had their single animal in it. and you were kind of out of luck. >> this is how you were thinking about it in bensonhurst? >> well, yeah, ten, 12, 14 years old, when you're deciding what you think you might be good at, what you might want to do. i didn't know whether the doors were going to be opened just a crack, wide open, locked closed, because, "hey, we already have one, so we don't need any more." and at different times, in the intervening 30 years, all those things have been true. some companies feel, "hey, we got one, you know. we'll put him on those pictures that television stations put in their lobbies, and we're covered. and we're cool, and that's it. and we don't have to look any more." >> right. >> and that's been the reality, too, as well as places sort of getting religion and saying, "no, this is great. where do we get more?" >> you know ray, i want to talk to you, though, about growing up
6:33 pm
in new york as a puerto rican. it's hard to say, but you know that many people across the country, who don't know about puerto ricans, still, in this day and age, think puerto ricans, think bad things. >> oh, yeah, negative associations. >> negative things. >> sure. >> and you were growing up in bensonhurst, which, at that point, was an all-white neighborhood. you were feeling this racism. you said you were the only puerto rican family in your neighborhood. >> mm-hmm. >> and your mom actually went to rent the apartment, because she was light-skinned, and figured that they would rent to her. >> mm-hmm. >> so what was that racism like for you as a kid? >> it was something that you... always caught you up short, because you couldn't believe it. here you are, you think of yourself as a saltwater fish swimming in salt water. so until something happens that sort of shakes you out of your reverie, you think, "well, i
6:34 pm
belong here just as much as any other person belongs here." and then something would happen to single you out. and not terrible things. not being, you know, chased to the edge of town, not having your car torched, not having your future compromised. but just little, constant sleights where you're reminded. you're just reminded, and you have to then reconsider. you pull back and reconsider. you pull back and reconsider. so there's a sort of insider/outsider thing that sometimes, when i think about being a reporter, they are, in many ways, similar. >> right, right. >> you are in a situation, you are watching a situation. but there's a part of it you simply can't participate in, you can't be a fully-vested part of. >> but here's the thing that i found interesting, ray, because when we were talking before we came out, you said that when you moved to washington d.c. in the early 1990s, and you were
6:35 pm
trying to rent an apartment, calling up, saying, "this is rafael suarez. i'm looking for a three-bedroom apartment," and they wouldn't return your calls. >> yeah. they were using their phone answering machine as a screening device, clearly. and the funny thing, you know, leaving chicago, where i was very well-known, i was on the top-rated news... >> big local reporter. >> five nights a week. >> nbc. >> going into places and getting nice tables with no reservation. why? because maitre d's and head waiters knew who i was, and they would say, "oh, mr. suarez, come over here." even though that kind of exclusion exists in chicago, i was no longer subject to it. so it's not that you're deluded about what's real and what's really going on, but you can forget, because you're doing eight million other things. and here i was, now a stranger in a new place, and got to be reminded again.
6:36 pm
now, these are apartments that, in the early '90s, cost $1,400, $1,500, $1,600 dollars a month. and i would say, you know, "i'm moving from chicago. i've got a new job. i need a three-bedroom apartment." now, somebody listening might say, "well, it could be a coincidence. maybe they were all rented." but i think somebody would have called me back, and said, "oh, we have another lovely property in our... in our chain to offer you." >> but here's what i find interesting, ray, because you and i have known each other for a long time. and i don't really sense, or have ever really gotten a sense of anger from you. it's not like you're angry about this stuff. >> i'm not angry about it. i think of it as the way of the world. i think of it as really a sad and unfortunate thing for the people who feel that way. and i've just got to go do my thing. and if you're all twisted up, you think you're taking a risk
6:37 pm
for your apartment building, because you're going to rent to me, oh well, you know? i'm not going to give you my money, then. i can't spend every day all wrapped up in that. >> but how much... how much of it do you face day to day in your work as a news hour senior correspondent? do you face it? is it an issue? >> no, because... and we don't often talk about this as a group. but when you're upper middle- class, and reasonably light, and not too dark, when you have a certain amount of money to build in some insulation around yourself, i don't face the same kinds of things that a dishwasher trying to get his children into a better elementary school faces. i know that. i don't kid myself. the kinds of things that i occasionally face happens at a much higher and much more polite level. so... >> for example? >> well, there... you know, people sometimes say to me, "how
6:38 pm
would you feel if you found out that you just got a job because you're latino? would that... would that upset you?" and they say it in a well- meaning, sort of, "hey, i'm... i'm margaret mead. i'm on samoa. i'm going to do a little freelance anthropology here. how would you feel if you found that out? would you feel bad?" and i say, "look. i've been doing this a long time. and the only way i can get up in the morning and put my pants on and go to work is by realizing that, yes, there have been situations where i've gotten a second look, and maybe even gotten a job, because of that. but there are also an equal number of jobs that i wasn't even considered for because of that, because employers hire latinos when they're looking for them. and if they were looking to fill a pentagon correspondent slot, or a national correspondent slot, and they weren't particularly looking for a latino, they don't broaden their
6:39 pm
concept of a job to say, "oh, he fits in that, a person with overseas experience, national reporting experience, plaques on the wall, good education." they only... when they're only looking for a latino, then they find one. so i say to those people, "look, it's 50-50. it's a wash across a long career. there have been ceilings that i've hit. there have been places where i have worked where i know i've gone as far as i'm going to be allowed to go, because i've already accomplished everything they want me to do by just being here. i'm hired for trophy value and display value, and there i am. so just by drawing breath and drawing a paycheck, i've already accomplished their purposes. so anything i do after that is gravy." can i be bitter about it? i guess i could be bitter about it, but i've had a wonderful life. i have a wonderful life. and you know, some people who want me to be more political and more angry and more
6:40 pm
confrontational about it may say, "look, you know, you're not doing your people any good by taking that position." but i also have to do my life, and i have to raise my children. and i have to accomplish things in this business creatively for myself, and i do that. that's what i concentrate on. >> which is why i find it so interesting that you have written two books on really broad, broad, broad topics. the first one, the old neighborhood, the changes in whether or not the neighborhoods as we know them are disappearing, still in print, still selling. your new one, called the holy vote, about religion and politics; and i thought, "there would be a lot of inside-the- beltway reporters who would not touch religion and politics with a ten-foot pole, because they might burn some bridges." and you jump into this? >> well, look, this is a fascinating topic. it's one that kept dragging me in, like poor michael corleone-- every time you think
6:41 pm
you're away from it, it keeps dragging you in. look at the last couple of years-- terri schiavo, evolution, the makeup of the supreme court, controversies at the air force academy over a preaching evangelical christianity cadet corps. >> but we're all reporters. but we're all reporters. we're all seeing this. when you say "drawing me in," was it because you, ray suarez, also someone, who... you call yourself religious and spiritual. was it also because you felt that you needed to kind of come to terms with this issue yourself? >> well, i watch american politics for a living. and i, in my private life, think of myself as somebody who's trying to really stay in full contact and full understanding of what's going on in the culture. and i saw this happening, and i looked at the range of books that were being written, and two kinds of books were being written-- by avowedly secular skeptical people, looking at the religionization of politics and saying, "isn't this terrible?" and religious people writing
6:42 pm
about it, saying "aren't those seculars terrible? isn't this great what we're doing?" and there was another book in there that wasn't being written, by a religious american, saying, "wait. let's unpack this for a minute. is this true to our traditions? is this true to who we are as a people? what brought this about? what's going on here?" and that's the book i wanted to write, and that's the one i wrote. >> so when you look at latinos and religion and politics, what do you come up with? >> oh, it's just... it's a more interesting story. that could be whole book in itself. >> i wrote down, you know, mormons-- huge recruitment in the latino community. i wrote down evangelicals. i wrote down something that someone else had told me. they said, "you know, now they're trying to get all the latinos to become protestants, so they have the protestant work ethic." and i was like, "okay, that's interesting." i know. so what do you see? >> well, there's all kinds of interesting things going on. latinos, politically, still are much more interested in bread-
6:43 pm
and-butter issues. why? because they're predominantly a working-class population, and are going to be for a long time to come. so their churches are often quite socially conservative. and at the same time, when they look at the relationship between the individual and the state, when you ask them, "should government be helping you with your particular set of problems where you live," they say, "yes, absolutely, because we can't do it on our own." there is an illusion among a lot of middle-class americans that they can. "leave me alone. get government out of here. i'm going to do it on my own." i want to go out one day and watch them build their own highway, but that's for another day. but latinos will tell you, "yes, we need government in our... to fix the schools. we need them to police the streets. we need them to guarantee that our social services and our physical neighborhood services-- garbage collection, clearing up
6:44 pm
abandoned cars... we need the government in here." there isn't that same hostility that you see in churches of the same denomination. >> in latino churches, is the politics there? is it being preached from the pulpit? >> in some of them, yes. in some of them, no. it's an interesting mix. >> and is that good or bad? what do you think? >> well, look, you can't artificially separate the political from the personal, or the political from the religious when we're talking about a religion, where the great savior and teacher and master spoke about actual common daily life-- about people in prison, about people who needed a coat. and what does it say in the gospel of john? "if you have a coat, just give it to them. if your... if your enemy hits you on the face... >> "turn the other cheek." >> "turn the other cheek, so he can hit the other one." this is... the reason jesus spoke in parables was because they were good, concrete, basic,
6:45 pm
earthy examples of how you live with other people, and live in your town, and... >> so when you're in christian communities who've called themselves based... faith-based communities, do you see that? do you see the actual caring? because oftentimes, i see one thing, but the actions say something entirely different. >> well, templo calvario, for instance, in southern california-- it started off with one church in suburban la county. and now, it's a constellation of churches, very conservative as far as personal morals. girls are not wearing hoochie skirts, and made up, you know, and listening to dirty music, and all that. there's a certain comportment that they... that they talk to their people about. socially conservative not in their politics as much as in how i'm going to be in the
6:46 pm
world-- premarital sex, about how you care about your children, about how you handle yourself personally. >> important values. >> but it also taps into something that's already deep in the people already. it's not like they were crazy and all over the place and they went to templo calvario and heard this whole new thing that they never heard before. a lot of people don't realize the deep wells of modesty that are already there in latino communities and are just not talked about that much-- all the girls who go on their first dates with chaperones, all the older brothers who are pulled in and enlisted at the last minute to go down... >> and i've got to tell you, you know... i mean, i was driving through texas one time. and i started listening to the radio, and i started hearing a great reggaeton rhythm. and then it turned out it was christian reggaeton. i was like, wow. and they were actually saying, "stay with your wife. stay with your wife." and i was like, "oh, i like this."
6:47 pm
go figure. i want to turn now to being that inside-the-beltway reporter. do the washington reporters... do they have their grip back? are we back at a point when they are asking the tough questions? or are they still, as helen thomas has said, asleep at the wheel? >> well, i think you see a toughening attitude in the morning press briefing, tony snow getting pelted many mornings of the week. i think there's a harder edge in the news conferences. is this a sudden wave of infectious backbone? i don't know, but... >> what was the turning point? do you think it was new orleans? katrina? >> well, when... as things gradually in the view of the public started to go worse and worse for the bush administration, reporters felt emboldened. people who are critical of the press might say, "well, they should have felt emboldened two years before that, when he had a
6:48 pm
75% approval rating." i leave that to others. i'm not a media critic. i... it's hard to be in the belly of the beast and also act like you're not in the beast at all. >> so if you had to be in that white house press briefing day after day after day, do you think you could take it? >> the questions that were not asked during the first several years of the bush administration were... you were sometimes left thunderstruck by the end of it. but to the defense of my colleagues in washington, this has also been an administration that has taken a historic, first-ever attitude toward information. they don't see the information they hold as public property that they happen to hold as public servants. they see it as personal property, which is for them to hold on to, and for us to pull out of them if we can. >> right. but if those reporters were
6:49 pm
really tough and trusting that instinct, what would happen? they'd be put at the back of the white house press briefing room. >> they wouldn't get to ask questions any more. >> they would never get to ask questions. i mean, it's kind of like you're set up, that if you're a tough reporter the way we're supposed to be, you're not going to go anywhere. and your career ends. >> those reporters in that press room, maria, are not independent contractors. they work inside organizations that are today just single profit lines inside even much larger organizations. and you have to have the back. your organization has to have your back if you're going to do that. >> so do you think that the corporate media in america today has the backs of reporters who are willing to push and push hard? >> i made a decision at a certain point in my career to get out of all of that, and to go work in public media, because i found that it was a better fit for me. i don't know if i would have the
6:50 pm
support of my organization if i wanted to ask impertinent questions and i was still working in commercial media. >> and so you say that you're not a cynic. but when you look at that, when you think about american media, with a history, from edward r. murrow, of pushing, and then you've got a kind of corporate media that's saying, "eh, don't rock the boat," that doesn't make you... >> i don't think they're saying, "don't rock the boat." i think they're looking for openings. and for the first of the two bush administrations, there were very few openings. they were riding high. everything was working well for them, the public was buying it. so, like, how do you get inside a bowling ball? there it is, it's heavy, it's dense, it's impermeable, and you can't see the inside of it. well, they were a bowling ball for the first couple of years. now there's all kinds of cracks and fissures and places to get in. and now we're starting to see that. >> so you're hopeful? it's not back... it's not where you'd like to see it, but...
6:51 pm
>> no, the business is not corrupt and god-forsaken. and the people working in it are not moral cowards and morons, no. i... a lot of honest people are trying to do an honest job and still trying to stay employable, stay viable inside the business, writ small in their organization, and also writ large inside the business itself. >> okay. and so... >> people sometimes exaggerate the ease with which you can navigate those very challenging shoals, i think. >> so ray, there's talk now of even public television doing things in spanish. i mean, when you think about the fact that, you know, you were growing up and watching these few latino reporters on commercial news in new york city, and now, perhaps... i mean, you know, univision, huge, telemundo, huge. so from a kind of personal place, this issue of more spanish language media access, good, bad? >> it's fabulous.
6:52 pm
i mean, think about television, and think about what's on. it's great that there are game shows and news and soap operas and everything that's on spanish language television. if we think what we're doing in public television is worthwhile and provides value to the public, and has an educative purpose, then we should want to be where part of our audience is nationally, too-- still getting their information in spanish. so it'll be great when we bring that product-- and i can watch it too-- bring that product, with a public television point of view and a public television way of doing tv, to spanish- language viewers as well. >> in fact, because there's a history of, in mexico and in other places of latin america, where public television exists, educational television exists, at least, certainly, in mexico. so people have this tradition. >> and also we want to talk to kids. we want to talk to kids who are still spanish dominant. we want to talk to young
6:53 pm
parents. there's a great new frontier for public television, and it's great to see that we're not surrendering that audience and its needs to the commercial world. i'm really pretty excited about it. >> everybody knows you as this very serious reporter. but i had asked you before, okay, so if all of a sudden, you became independently wealthy, and you didn't have to work, and i said, "so what? would you make movies?" and you said, "no, i might write." >> i would write more books, because there are a lot of things going on in this country and in the world that you can't necessarily get at in a 2,500-word magazine article, or a 1,000-word newspaper piece, or even a ten-minute public television piece, or a five-minute public radio piece. there's just... there are arguments that the trajectory is so long, the arc of it is so long, that the book is the only
6:54 pm
form where you have a chance to develop it. i like that. i realized, even when i was suffering-- and you've written books before, so you know how you suffer over certain chapters-- i thought, "this is really great. even though it's horrible, it's great." >> it's still pretty good. >> and i can't... i can't explain it. and certainly there's that thrill when you see the first one that's got a cover on it, and is in between the cardboard covers-- it is fabulous. and i like to have that. >> and you like getting out there. you like getting out and pound... you know, getting out, i mean, the reporter in you, from chicago that was doing those... covering the fires and the police beat, and all that kind of stuff, you still like being out on the road with the people? >> it's nice. it's nice, because also, you're not encumbered by all that extra technology. you walk up to people... >> oh, i know, that's right. >> say, "hi. i am ray suarez, and i'm writing a book on blah-blah. can i talk to you?" and since you haven't got three other people with lights and gizmos and all that, they always, almost always, say yes.
6:55 pm
>> so when people... when people always... they always ask me, "so what do you like? television? radio?" and i'm like, "you know, each one has its moment." but being able to be yourself, alone with a notebook, amazing access. >> and serendipity is allowed. when you're working on deadline, serendipity is not allowed. you can't just say, "yeah, this is interesting. let's follow this thread to see where it goes." you really... you have to deliver by a certain time. this is your master, right here on your... on your wrist. with a book, there are still deadlines, of course. but if somebody says something like, "oh, my neighbor across the street-- a very interesting thing happened to them." you think, "let me walk across the street and see if they're home." there's all this time to just explore and get the real feel. by the time you're sitting down at the keyboard, you live this, you're immersed in it in a way that you just can't be with daily deadline reporting. >> all right, so we'll look forward to the next book.
6:56 pm
thanks, ray, for joining us. >> great to be here, maria. >> for more information about this program visit our web site. captioned by media access group at wgbh çóóóó'ññññ
6:57 pm
6:58 pm
6:59 pm

Sino Tv Early Evening News
PBS March 25, 2011 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT


TOPIC FREQUENCY Ray 6, Chicago 5, Damascus 4, Spanish 4, Eu 4, Syria 4, France 3, American 3, Fifa 3, New York 3, Germany 3, Libya 3, Bush 3, Ray Suarez 3, New York City 2, Bensonhurst 2, Washington 2, Euros 2, Pentagon 2, Maria 2
Network PBS
Duration 01:00:00
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 107 (693 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 528
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 3/26/2011